Review: Ultimatum #3

by

This just in… Steve Rogers Lives!

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The death toll continues to rise as Magneto takes the mass destruction of the world up another notch in Jeph Loeb’s Ultimatum #3.

ultimatum3cover.jpgHow do you top causing a tidal wave that wipes out most of New York, freezing all of Europe, and causing volcanos to erupt in the Amazon?  If you are Erik Lehnsherr you convince Jamie Madrox to duplicate himself hundreds of thousands of times, strap bombs on their chests, and send them out into the world blowing things up as the second wave of destruction. And if you are a megalomaniac, you proclaim only those that agree to follow you will be saved.

Makes perfect sense, but with all the chaos going on, and everyone on the verge of finding out Magneto is behind the destruction, getting those to follow is going to be rather difficult.  Of course the biggest obstacle standing in Erik’s way are those superheroes who aren’t dead (yet) trying to pick up the pieces and organize a counter-attack.  Readers aren’t going to see that happen in this issue, but that is the plan.

Since Ultimatum is the end all event for this chapter of the Ultimate Universe, I feel somewhat disappointed this installment continues to have the same number of pages as a regular issue.  Back in the day (yeah, I’m old), whenever there was a major event, companies would publish 80-page giants that told the main story, with the rest of the titles filling in the missing bits.  For such an epic story, each issue of Ultimatum needs to be at least twice the page count.

Grossest moment of the entire issue? I’m going to have to go with Hank Pym biting the head off the Blob for eviscerating his wife.

Best moment of the issue? That’s a tough one.  Frankly, there was nothing wrong with the Ultimate Universe except it had gotten long in the tooth and was becoming more difficult for new readers to jump on board.  Instead of doing a massive reboot, the decision was made to kill everyone off.  Granted, most of those killed so far have been Ultimate X-Men, which is just fine by me, but really, I was pretty happy getting my Marvel fix through the Ultimate titles.   So it is rather hard finding something good when one is destroying everything Brian Michael Bendis Marvel created. If I had to pick one good moment, it would probably have to be Steve Rogers returning from the dead thanks to the ultimate sacrifice by Thor as the two battled a legion of undead for the life of Valkyrie.

Even with the broad jumps in location and characters, Jeph Loeb is able to deliver a well written story, and the art by David Finch, while graphically violent at times, is well done.

As disappointed as I am in the decision makers who are killing the Ultimate Universe, I’m equally excited to see what comes next.  If Marvel has to end this world to begin another, pulling a Day After Tomorrow stunt is better than an energy being gobbling up the multiverse left and right.  Even with the tie-in issues, this event seems to be moving almost too fast and that ultimately is what brings Ultimatum down – a lot of flash, but very little in the way of character development, earning Ultimatum #3 3 out of 5 Stars.

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